Recreation and Tourism Management

  • teams of two rowing boats with onlookers cheering

    Department of Recreation & Tourism Management

  • New Proposed Hotel on CSUN campus

    Department of Recreation & Tourism Management

  • W Hotel FieldTrip

    Department of Recreation & Tourism Management

  • Recreate Yourself

    Department of Recreation & Tourism Management

  • Hospitality Experience

    Department of Recreation & Tourism Management

  • RTM Commencement

    Department of Recreation & Tourism Management

Aquatic Center at Castaic Lake

Founded in 1976, the CSUN, California State University Northridge, Aquatic Center has become well known throughout the community - and, in fact, the nation - for its excellence in boating and water safety education. The center, which is located at Castaic Lake Recreation Area in the scenic foothills of the Santa Clarita Valley, is of the largest boating education centers in the nation, serving in upward of 4,000 individuals through its credit, non-credit and community service programs each year. From students to community groups to at-risk youth, we truly offer something for everyone!

The Center offers the following activities:

  • Water Skiing
  • Wake boarding
  • Stand Up Paddle Boarding
  • Sailing
  • Windsurfing
  • Kayaking
  • Canoeing
  • Boating Safety Education
  • Outdoor Education Classes

Learn more by choosing the boxes below or start you event reservation now with this link
Program Reservation Form
Scouting Program Reservation Form

*Program Reservations are for Groups and Organizations only.
Please check back for open registration for individuals not associated with a visiting organization

Department of Recreation Tourism Management Academic Courses

CSUN Department of Recreation Tourism Management provides academic credit courses at the Aquatic Center. CSUN educators provides the highest caliber instruction on Flat water boating, Wake boarding and Water Skiing, Sailing, and many other offerings. Courses are offered during the Spring, and Fall Semesters, and fill up quickly due to popular demand. 


RTM 151D. Flat-Water Boating
Introduction to safe travel by kayak or canoe on lakes, rivers and oceans. Includes equipment, navigation and techniques for flat-water boating and emergency self-rescue. Emphasis will be on safety, environmental awareness and skill development. Arranged field trips are required.

RTM 265. Water Skiing and Wake boarding
Prerequisite: Basic swimming skills. Develops proficiency in water skiing skills, including wake boarding, with an emphasis on safety and the proper use of equipment.

RTM 267/L. Sailing and Lab
Prerequisite: Elementary swimming skills. Corequisite: RTM 267L. Development of the skills and art of sailing, including the development of basic seamanship, small boat handling competency, safety procedures and regulations and introductions to competitive sailing and ocean cruising. 1 hour lecture, 2 hours lab per week

You can learn more by visiting or

CSUN Sailing ManualPDF icon

Summer Youth Programs- AquaSMART (Scholarship Programs for Rec Centers, and School Groups)

Summer is our favorite time of year! Each year the CSUN Aquatic Center at Castaic Lake serves over 6,000 youth that come from all over Los Angeles, San Fernando Valley, Santa Clarita and beyond to paddle with us. Our programs are supported by the California Division of Boating and Waterways, alongside the American Canoe Association. With us everyone will learn how to be safe, in, around and near the water. Additionally we teach how to be safe, and have loads of fun on Canoes, Kayaks, and Stand Up Paddle boards!

Generous scholarship funding is made available through the California Division of Boating and Waterways. Many LA City Recreation Centers, Schools, and Community Centers qualify for these FREE programs. Call or email us to day to find out if your group qualifies for a FREE DAY AT THE LAKE- 661-257-0571,

AM Paddling Session (Canoes, Kayaks, and *Stand Up Paddle Boards)
9:00-12:00 or 10:00-1:00
Available for Groups of approx. 40 or fewer

Full Day Paddling Session (Canoes, Kayaks, and *Stand Up Paddle Boards)
Available for groups of approx. 40 or larger.

Fullest Day! Paddling Session
9:00- 3:00
Available for groups of approx. 60 or larger

Programming with us includes;
All parking and entrance fees waived
 A large picnic area with tables and bbq set up
Private paddling at one of our flat water, protected beaches
All necessary boating equipment- boats, paddles, life jackets
Safe, and fun Boating Instructors and Lifeguards

CSUN Aquatic Center Programming is available every day of the week, including Saturday and Sunday. *Swimming is only available Thursday through Sunday.
We know that every group is different and the above times are meant to work as a general menu of services. All days can be custom tailored to the needs of your group.

*All times, programs, equipment availability, and services are. The CSUN Aquatic Center reserves the right to cancel, reschedule, or alter any programming dependent on weather and conditions

*** Inclusive Programming- The CSUN Aquatic Center strives to make all its programming and activities open to everyone, regardless of physical limitations, developmental differences, or unique health issues. We need your help and communication to reach our goals of accommodating all boating experiences. Please let us know if any youth, students, staff or volunteers, might need additional resources to maximize their day on the water. Items may include; Developmental delays or disabilities, learning disabilities, limited mobility, visual or audio impairment, etc.

Scout Programs

Whether you are looking for your Scouts first experience on the Water or looking for a comprehensive merit badge program before your week long adventure, we can help. Our American Canoe Certified Instructors are well versed in Scouting standards and badge criteria, and provide fun, informative, engaging programs for a range of age groups and all experience levels. Our facility has been certified by Greater Los Angeles counsels and we deliver high quality badge programs focused on your troops specific goals. You don't have to leave LA to find amazing outdoor experiences. Use the reservation link below to get starting planning your troops day out on the water! 

Start your Scouting Reservation today

Group Paddling, Sailing, Wakeboarding and Water Skiing, Programs and Prices

Our Boating programs were developed to teach students of all ages how to recreate safely in and around California Waterways. Our programs are engaging, hybrid learning experiences that consist of instructional videos, hands on education by our highly trained Lifeguards and Aquatic Instructors, and hours of on water boating. With Lake Castaic as our class room, these programs represent an incredible space for students to learn about boating and water safety, water as a natural resource, as well as develop new, empowering skills that they will have for the rest of their lives. 
Our programs are always tailored to best fit the needs and goals of your group, whether they are school organizations, Girl Scouts, first time boaters, Boy scouts, church groups, or anyone else that wants to learn with us.



ded: Life jackets,all necessary sailing equipment, safety patrol boat, entrance into the park, shaded picnic area, fun, safe and knowledgeable instructors/lifeguards

For more information and to schedule your program follow this link Program Reservation Form, call us at 661-257-0571, or email us at

Make sure you ask about our generous Scholarship opportunities, made possible by the California Division of Boating and Waterways.

Aquatic Center Waivers.pdf
Visual Audio Image Release Form.pdf

Aquatic Team Building

For groups that are looking targeting community development and leadership training, our Aquatic Team Building puts a new spin on the experience. With activities on and around the water, these programs are perfect for school field trips, youth groups, organizational retreats and competitive teams. This is a fun and exciting way for groups to learn to work as a team, discover leadership skills, develop communication strategies, and take on personal challenges with the support of a growing group. Life jackets and all equipment are included. 

 Learn more about Teambuilding and other Group and Corporate events from our partners CSUN Outdoor Adventures 

Leadership, Employment and Internship Opportunities

Paddle Sports Leadership Program

Learn how to be a Paddle Sports Leader in your community! Now accepting sign ups for Spring 2018
For more information check out our program partners at, email us at , or call us at 661-257-0571

Aquatic Leadership Program

What- The Aquatic Leadership Program (ALP) was developed to train knowledgeable and highly skilled Aquatic Professional and Outdoor Educators who have all the tools and abilities necessary to facilitate the best Boating experiences for the CSUN Community.

Who- We are looking for current CSUN undergraduate and graduate students who are want to share their love of boating and water recreation with others, develop their leadership skills and become Outdoor Adventure Employees. Whether you want to call them Staff, Instructors, Outdoor educators, Facilitators, the ALP provides the opportunities to become true Aquatic Professionals in all sense of the word. During your time in the program you’ll receive your lifeguard certification, learn to teach Kayaking, Canoeing, Stand Up Paddling, Sailing, and Waterski Wakeboarding at the highest levels. We provide all the tools needed to find success with us. Such trainings include (but are definitely not limited to)

  • Red Cross Lifeguard, First Aid, and CPR for professional rescuers.
  • Leadership skills
  • Group management skills
  • Paddle Sports Knowledge at an American Canoe Association level
  • Sailing at American Sailing Association/US Sailing Levels
  • Teambuilding facilitation skills
  • Class, Trip and course planning
  • Risk management practices
  • Teaching philosophy and techniques

Where- At the Aquatic Center, we believe in “Real” Class rooms, experiential learning, and peer teaching. The vast majority of our program takes place at the beach and on the water at Castaic Lake, 30 minutes north of the CSUN Campus. This is where you will teach paddle skills, sailing and first aid, but your role as an instructor may take you to high school campuses to teach water safety, the classrooms at CSUN to teach First aide, or a farmer’s market to give out free life jackets.

Why- Get paid to wake board, sail, teach, learn, and help folks paddle and play safely.  Meet an incredible community of outdoors men and women. Learn technical boating skills. Learn group management, leadership, and facilitation skills. Become a trained Aquatic Instructor with a skill set that can apply to a variety of other jobs in the fields of Recreation, and Outdoor Education. Experienced unrivaled personal growth and development.

If you have any other questions about the ALP don’t hesitate to contact us by phone, email or in person.


For the ALP, and other Employment opportunities please follow the links below.

CSUN Student Employment-

Non Student Employment-

Internship and Volunteer Opportunities

For internship or volunteer opportunities please email us at 
provide your name, contact information and a short message regarding the goals and purpose of your inquiry for an internship. 

Honoring Excellence- Awards and Recognition

The CSUN Aquatic Center is proud to have received several local, state and national awards including:

  • The National Recreation and Park Association Award of Excellence
  • The National Safe Boating Council Youth Program of Excellence Award
  • The United States Sailing Association Extraordinary Outreach and Inclusion Award

In addition, these organizations have recognized the Center for its outstanding programs:

  • Amateur Athletic Foundation of Los Angeles
  • California International Sailing Association
  • California Police Activity League Supporters (PALS)
  • City of Santa Clarita Community Center
  • Los Angeles City Council
  • Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors
  • Los Angeles Police Department
  • Los Angeles Times

Giving Back

Volunteering- With the majority of our programs teaching water safety to under served youth groups, volunteers are always pivotal to our success. Whether you have some boating experience or non at all, we need helpful, positive individuals to continue to make our programs some of the best around. Please contact us to find out how you can be a part of what we do. 

Donations-For information on any of our programs or to find out how you can make a difference by donating funds or usable items, such as boats or vehicles, to the Center (all donations are tax deductible), you can contact the Department of Recreation and Tourism Management office, or Executive Director Dr. Nathan Martin directly or reach us at

Contact Us

Nathan Martin
Executive Director

Chris Whitesides
Aquatic Center Manager

32132 Castaic Lake Drive
Castaic, CA, 91384